There are some occasions that call for meat-sauce covered pasta and melted cheese to match the joviality of the mood. For those occasions, the Come Back Inn  provides hardy fare and accommodating service.
Several years ago on Christmas Eve, my family found the Come Back Inn in Jeffersonville, lured by the scent of sizzling Italian sausage and buttery garlic bread. Despite the fact that we were a party of ten and it was ten minutes before closing time, the staff provided us with a hospitable and amazing meal. I gathered the vague memories of crab cakes and cream sauce and tucked them away in a corner of my mind until I had the opportunity to visit the Come Back Inn again, this time at their other location in Germantown, on Swan Street.
The Come Back Inn is rather dark and close in both locations. They are known for their affordable homemade Italian food, and it is a well deserved reputation--there is not an item on the menu over thirteen dollars, and the portions are massive. On my second visit I arrived with thirteen starving friends in tow, and we were seated and served immediately. While everything sampled was tasty, the stand-outs were certainly two large, meaty crab cakes with garlic aioli, and the Gyros Salad. The salad was crammed with calamata olives, pepperoni, yogurt sauce and artichoke hearts, an amazing compliment to the heavy pastas and pizzas around it. The tendrils of the mushroom linguini were coated with basil pesto, and the pizza was thick with mozzarella and chunky tomato sauce. More surprising were the Antipasti Wontons, two dumplings filled with cheese and bits of prosciutto, like a cross between a cheese stick and an egg roll.
The beer flowed freely from the fully stocked bar, the talk was boisterous and friendly, and we all felt ourselves warmed by the carbohydrates and the cheerfulness. The Come Back Inn will leave you with a full stomach and a general sense of the joy of life, as all good Italian food should.
Photo: Elizabeth Orrick